ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
Sited on a reclaimed brownfield at the edge of the San Sebastian River, 1 mile west from historic St. Augustine’s down town, this project explores the challenges of reactivating a derelict manufacturing site on the urban core’s edge. The project brief calls for an 88 room 4 star hotel with a 8,000 sq ft spa, along with 60 condo-hotel residences and 98 condominium residences to be placed on the 4 acre site. In addition to the land based program, the site’s southern edge consisted of a reclaimed underwater brownfield that is to become a marina with 60 slips for yachts up to 90' in length.
In order to reconnect the site to the existing urban fabric, the design team’s solution called for making the newly created waterfront community a destination for the downtown visitor, speeding the redevelopment of the adjacent main artery, King’s Street. The connection to the river was given importance by the creation of a public river walk, and existing streets were terminated with river vistas in order to reinforce the connection to the water. Interspersed along the river walk are spaces for galleries, shops and restaurants, to reactivate the waterfront. The condominium buildings are lifted 1 story for a sense of privacy, while the unit’s large covered terraces allow a visual connection to the public spaces below.
The hotel is conceived as 2 structures in keeping with the scale of the development. To visually link the new development to the historic downtown, 2 spires are set to mark the hotel entry. While having to adhere to the strict historic code of the town, the design team used traditional materials in a more modern interpretation, giving the property the sense at once that it has always been, but is entirely up to date.